Last updated on May 9th, 2023 at 12:01 pm
The Lake Express Ferry officially began its 20th season of service Friday, starting its first journey from Milwaukee to Muskegon, Michigan at 6 a.m.
The high-speed, four-engine powered car ferry will transport 100,000 travelers between Wisconsin and Michigan this season. The ferry will make four daily crossings of Lake Michigan, each taking two and a half hours, and six daily crossings during the height of the summer travel season. Trips are scheduled to run until Oct. 22.
An average of 50 different foreign countries are represented annually among Lake Express’ travelers. The ferry is popular among travelers seeking to avoid Chicago traffic congestion when driving around Lake Michigan on their way to Michigan or Wisconsin.
“We’re really seeing an uptick in interest in ridership, so I really think we’re going to have a strong summer season,” said Aaron Schultz, senior vice president at Lake Express.
He believes 2023 is the first true “post-COVID” summer, as the return of several popular festivals and events are driving the increased interest in ferry ridership.
The Lake Express ferry made history as the first high-speed auto passenger ferry in the United States on June 1, 2004.
“We’re thrilled to be celebrating our 20th season of ferry service on Lake Michigan,” said Schultz. “It’s still one of the best ways to avoid Chicago traffic and enjoy a unique and comfortable experience while traveling to destinations in Wisconsin, Michigan, or beyond.”
See more from WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.